Lebara Plan Review
And Comparison

  • Affordable access to Vodafone 4G network
  • Incredible international calling rates
  • Amazing data inclusions - unrivaled at this price
  • Our Best Value Unlimited Plan in Oz just $29.90
  • Keep your phone number or get a new one
Play video 4 Play video review Tips to help you choose

Top Lebara Plans

Which competitors should you consider?

Common questions about Lebara

Which network does Lebara work use ?

Lebara is the best known Australian reseller of the Vodafone 4G network. You can find out more about Vodafone’s network coverage here.

Vodafone’s network has improved immensely over the last 6 years. Independent research shows that Vodafone’s 4G network is on a par with Telstra’s. We realize that this is an incredible claim but it’s true. For now, you get get 4G data speeds and coverage on a par with Telstra’s for a fraction of the cost of going direct to big T.

Lebara are an MVNO or a smaller phone company. What’s an MVNO ?

MVNOs are smaller phone companies which rent access to a phone network without owning it themselves. Lebara is an MVNO. The difference to you doesn’t mean a lot. Buying a plan from an MVNO represents an affordable SIM Only alternative and, if you call overseas, you probably don’t want to look further than Lebara.

Is voicemail retrieval and deposit included in the unlimited plans ?

Yes.

Are 13 and 18 numbers included in Lebara’s unlimited plans ?

Yes they are.

How is data charged on Lebara’s unlimited plans ?

Data is charged in per kB chunks. That means that your usage will be rounded up to the nearest kB at the end of each data session. The move to per kB charging came in around the start of September 2015. Before that, Lebara used per MB charging which is far less palatable from a user perspective.

What is the $10 Save Plan ?

The $10 Save Plan is a quick and easy way to get started with Lebara. You’ll get unlimited calls to other Lebara numbers and you’ll pay as you go to call overseas destinations. Rates vary so check them out here.

What is the Mini Mega Plan ?

If you make a lot of international calls and don’t call anyone in Australia then you should go to the pub to make some friends and buy a Mini Mega Plan for when you get home. The Mini Mega plan gives you a huge allowance of international calls and charges you only for flagfall. Logically, you’d buy this one if you made a smaller number of very long calls overseas. In reality, you’re probably safer with the all you can eat International plan in our view.

CHECK MINI MEGA PLAN FOR $24.90

Why is Lebara’s Unlimited plan so much better value ?

Well, first of all, it’s an unlimited (voice and SMS to Australian numbers) plan for less than $30 which is an impressive price point in itself. However, on top of that, Lebara include access to facilities on their unlimited plan that other ‘unlimited’ providers don’t. Finally, simply, Lebara offer 4G data speeds these days, on the Vodafone network which matches Telstra’s for coverage.

Their unlimited plans include calls to 13 numbers, 18 numbers and voicemail drops / retrievals which isn’t always the case with unlimited plans.

So you’re clear, we also recommend unlimited plans from both Amaysim ( a smaller phone company which uses the Optus 3G network ) and Boost ( an MVNO which uses the Telstra 3G network ) you can see further details of these plans below.

CHECK LEBARA NATIONAL UNLIMITED FOR $29.90

 

Is MMS included in the Unlimited plan ?

Yes.

Can I keep my existing phone number if I go to Lebara ?

Yes, you can. We’ve written on this extensively too – Can I keep my mobile number. The process is called porting and it usually only takes a couple of hours.

With a postpaid connection, you’ll usually enter your phone number in to the checkout as part of the process.

With Lebara and other prepaid providers, you order first. Then, once you received your SIM, you will need to activate it (as with all service providers). This can be done through Lebara’s website or by calling their call centre.

As part of the activation process, you will be asked if you wish to port in ( transfer across to Lebara ) your existing mobile number. If you  select YES, they will be asked for the mobile number and your date of birth. The port will then be processed as part of the activation. Let me know if you require any further clarification.

What if I want an unlimited plan on the Telstra network ?

The best alternative to Lebara which uses the Telstra network is Boost. The plan is slightly more expensive but if you live in a rural area and need coverage outside the Vodafone network’s coverage area, Boost’s Unlimited plan is well worth considering.

What if I want an unlimited plan on the Optus network ?

Well, you’ll pay more for it, and, as we’ve said, you won’t get the other standout feature of Lebara’s plans – incredibly cheap rates to overseas numbers. Bendigo and Amaysim both offer unlimited plans on the Optus network. Or you can compare all of our unlimited plans,

How long does delivery take when a SIM is delivered from Lebara ?

The official line on this and what you’ll find on the website is that it’ll take 5-7 days. We’ve ordered a few online and they’ve all come much quicker than that. Usually within 2 to 3 working days. They come through Australia post. Of course, if we lived in more remote parts of WA, we would expect that to take longer.

Do Lebara charge for SIM Delivery ?

Nope. Order online and delivery is free so the price is right.

Are international texts charged for on the $29.90 plan ?

Yes, you’ll be charged 15 cents per international SMS on this plan. Remember, you can have international calls much more affordably by buying a bolt on to your National Plan.

CHECK LEBARA NATIONAL UNLIMITED FOR $29.90

What's good

  • Lebara use Vodafone 4G network : Coverage has improved
  • Best value unlimited plans in Australia starting at $29.90
  • $49.90 plan includes unlimited calls to 50+ countries
  • Data is fast - expect consistent 4G speeds
  • Lebara are prepaid so totally predictable costs

What's bad

  • Some lingering concerns over Customer Service levels
  • Currently no Self Service App
  • Coverage outside cities could be better

Lebara Review - Should you go with them?

Lebara are a prepaid provider who use the Vodafone 4G network.  We gave them the 2017 WhatPhone award for plans with International Calls because of their incredible international rate value.

Lebara Mobile won an award in the 2017 WhatPhone Awards

Best for international calls – Lebara Mobile

Lebara Best International Calls Award - WhatPhone 2017 awards

Lebara’s award for international minutes might be the least surprising of the plans and trophies on this page.

They have the basics covered: Lebara offer a best in class data inclusion at $30. They use the Vodafone 3G and 4G network which is now on a par with Optus and Telstra’s.  Unusually, in prepaid plans these days Lebara also take it to the competition with a 30 day, rather than 28 day expiry.

And, most importantly from the perspective of the 2017 awards, Lebara’s International calls inclusions start at 250 minutes for just $30. That’s a clear $10 below the price point you’ll find most of the competition at. For just $50 a month, you’ll get unlimited international calls.

 

 What do you need to know about Lebara ?

Lebara are known for their value when it comes to unlimited plans and international calls.

Lebara are one of a few smaller Australian phone companies. Smaller phone companies are sometimes called MVNOs and we’ve written about them a lot. That said, although they’re small relative to the main phone companies like Optus, Telstra and Vodafone, Lebara are a well known brand in Australia. You’ve probably seen them every time you’ve bought petrol or the paper for the last few years.

They’re almost certainly bigger than you think. Lebara operate the better part of a dozen phone companies in various, mostly European, countries around the world. They employ a total of about 1500 people ( that’s worldwide, not just in Australia. ) Lebara are known for their value when it comes to unlimited plans and plans which include international calls. They are a prepaid SIM provider ( not sure what prepaid means or how it compares to other types of SIM Only Plan ? Read our article on how to compare prepaid plans vs month to month vs on account. In Australia, Lebara have been operating for 6 years so they’re not going to run off in the middle of the night with your recharge value.

Perhaps most importantly, they’ve won ‘Best of the best’ awards for their international calling price plans and they offer an unlimited voice and SMS plan for as little as $29.90 which comes with a pretty sizable 5GB of 4G data.

 

Best for international calls – Lebara Mobile

Lebara Best International Calls Award

We recommend Lebara for those looking for a plan with international calls included. If you’re a backpacking visitor to Australia or someone with friends / family overseas, don’t shop around. Get a Lebara Mobile SIM. We think they’re so good, we gave them the 2017 WhatPhone award for their international plans.

Lebara cover the basics with a best in class data inclusion at $30. They use the Vodafone 3G and 4G network which is now on a par with Optus and Telstra’s. Unusually, in prepaid plans these days Lebara also take it to the competition with a 30 day, rather than 28 day expiry.

And, most importantly from the perspective of the 2017 awards, Lebara’s International calls inclusions start at 250 minutes for just $30. That’s a clear $10 below the price point you’ll find most of the competition at. For just $50 a month, you’ll get unlimited international calls.

 

Here’s a bit more background in case you need it before you buy

Get the best Value from Lebara - Infographic

Lebara’s / Vodafone’s network coverage has improved a lot recently

We’ve written extensively about Vodafone’s network improvements over the last 3 years. Vodafone coverage has improved dramatically, particularly in Australia’s capital cities.

The short version of all the research and our longer articles is that Vodafone’s 3G network is very good in Australia’s main cities. If that’s where you live, we recommend that you seriously consider Lebara.

Vodafone have made herculean efforts to improve the quality of their 3G and 4G networks as we have tried to make clear on our coverage page. The result is impressive. As of mid 2016, Vodafone made two, linked announcements about their network. First, Vodafone have offered 4G data speeds to their network resellers, including Lebara’s Plans. Second, following years of planning and hundreds of millions of dollars spent, Vodafone’s 4G network is on a par with Telstra’s for coverage in Australia. You’ll get a 4G signal with Vodafone the same amount of time you will get a 4G signal from Telstra.

As well as providing access to the Vodafone network at rates better than Vodafone themselves offer, Lebara have an additional string to their bow. Lebara have negotiated substantial discounts on calls to other countries, from your Australian mobile. These are international rates you won’t even get with Vodafone themselves. The result is impressive. For now, Lebara are reselling a quality 4G network – up with the best in Australia. And yet their data inclusions are enormous when compared to the competition from the mother companies – Vodafone and Telstra.

What is 4G ?

Lebara use the Vodafone 4G network. But what does that mean ?

Comparing 3G, 3.5G and 4G

 

Want the best value Unlimited Voice and SMS plan in Australia ?

In our view, Lebara have the best value unlimited plan in Australia. We recommend these Lebara plans:

Lebara Unlimited Plans

 

What are Lebara’s international rates like ?

Lebara’s international rates are very good. Obviously, information about the countries you can call changes all the time so you’re best checking Lebara’s website for details of international pricing. However, as an example, if you take the $29.90 National Plan and add an additional $10 recharge, you’ll get unlimited calls to the UK, USA, China, South Kora, Israel, Venezuela, Denmark and so on an so on.

Lebara won the best of the best Money award for their international plans so…. There’s kind of not a lot more to say about the rates and how they compare to the competition.

What’s good about Lebara’s plans ?

Lebara use a great metro focused network and offer the most affordable unlimited plans with a data allowance in Australia. They also have the best international rates we know. But these are not the only reasons we recommend them :

  • Lebara’s Plans are from a low cost Prepaid SIM Only provider:
    The vast majority of the Australian market is now SIM Only focused. Hand me down phones and eBay bargains mean more people every day are looking for a SIM which gives them pricing which is as good for their plan as it was for their handset. Among the low cost SIM Only providers in Australia, Lebara are unique. They have the best Australian Unlimited pricing and best international rates. Compare the quality of the network, compare the inclusions and our view is, at $30, you will not find a better plan.
  • Fast Data:
    4G is fast data – fast enough to let you watch a You Tube clip without stalling or interruption. 4G is superfast data – probably faster than your home broadband connection. The speeds Lebara give you are, from the middle of 2016, full 4G. Remember, if you have a 3G phone, you will not be disadvantages. Your Lebara SIM will work just fine. You will not, of course, be able to get 4G speeds on a 3G phone, however. To get Lebara’s 4G speeds, you’ll need to be in a coverage area and using a 4G phone.
  • Australia’s most affordable all you can eat plans:
    Lebara offer an unlimited plan for $29.90 which includes 5GB of 3G data. It’s the best value we have on our site at this price point.
  • Prepaid Plans:
    Prepaid plans offer totally predictability when it comes to cost. The very most you will spend before your next bill is the amount you recharged this time. Predictability of spend is one reason prepaid plans are so appealing. So long as you only recharge by your recharge requirement each month, it’s impossible to overspend. Prepaid plans also mean you do not have to sign a contract. You are free to move to a new provider whenever you’d like. If another phone company runs a promotion you’d like, you can move to it straight away.
  • Flexible Plans :
    You can recharge your Lebara SIM with any of their plans simply by visiting their online self service area or texting a code to them from your phone. If you’re not sure whether Lebara have coverage in your area, we recommend using their coverage checker. If you do take a SIM and you don’t get coverage, at least you’re not locked in to a 2 years long contract.
  • Easy recharge :
    Recharging is a key component of any prepaid plans and, luckily, Lebara make it easy :
  • Credit card recharge:
    Online, IVR (by calling 126 123), CRM by calling customer care (126 122)
  • Physical scratch voucher or e-voucher:
    Online, IVR, CRM, SMS (by sending pin number to 126 172) and mobile app
  • Moving Plans:
    Lebara allow customers to opt in to plans using their main balance. For instance, a customer with $40 main balance can send MEGA to 126172 and a $39.90 mega plan will be applied (they will have $0.10 main balance remaining)
  • 1kB Data Rounding :
    Some providers offer per kB charging for their data plans. Some charge per MB. It is preferable from a customer’s perspective when they do charge per kB. Struggling to understand what it means ? Whether it’s Kb or MB charging, your data session will be rounded up at the end of the surfing or downloading you’re doing. Imagine your data allowance was $2000 instead of 2GB. The best analogy is if the shop you buy your groceries with that $2000, always rounds up to the nearest dollar ( MB charging ). It’s fine if you’ve spent 99 cents. But if you’ve only spent 50 cents and they round it up to a dollar, it starts to add up. By the end of the month, you’re more likely to have reached your limit than if the same shop had rounded up to the nearest penny ( kB charging.)

What’s not so good about Lebara’s plans ?

  • Some questions over historical customer services levels :
    We have used the Lebara service ourselves and can tell you that we never had any need to call the call center, However, we acknowledge that’s something many people do need to do in the course of their tenure as a prepaid customer of a phone network. Some reviews of Labara have been critical of their customer service handling. Long waiting times have been a consistent theme. Lebara do not offer a Self Service App in the same way so many phone companies do these days. They do have some automated services including the usual balance checking and recharge facility over SMS. To offer a balanced view, we feel we need to include this as a ‘watch out’ for potential customers. Obliging customers to call for the majority of their enquiries ( because they have no app ) and then offering long wait times is not an ideal customer experience.
  • Lebara’s plan range can (in our view) be slightly confusing :
    We’ve tried to break down the plans and show the most popular here. Picking a price plan is not an easy business. Unfortunately, to a degree, Lebara are a victim of their own success in some regards. The great thing about Lebara is that they offer cheaper international calls and affordable national unlimited plans. The international aspect is an additional layer of complexity to the pick a price plan bit which was none too easy in the first place.

How do I make sure I never run out of prepaid Lebara credit ?

There are a couple of ways to make this painless. By far the easiest way is to go online and recharge there using a credit card. Lebara, like most prepaid providers has an ‘auto-recharge’ facility which will top you up at the end of your prepaid recharge window.

Lebara customers can also use your credit card by calling 126 123 or by calling customer care 126 122

Finally, customers can buy a physical voucher in store when you’re buying petrol or stamps. You can then use that voucher to recharge Online, IVR, CRM, SMS (by sending pin number to 126 172) and mobile app, if they’d like.

Summary – should you go with Lebara ?

There has rarely been a better time to pick a plan from Lebara. If you live in one of Australia’s major cities, and you either want a plan which has unlimited voice, included international calls or both, we recommend Lebara wholeheartedly. Lebara are an international brand. Around the world, if you added up all of their cmpanies, you’d be talking about something close to the size of Optus. That means they’re reliable ( they’re not going to disappear in the middle of the night with your money ) and it also means they have the heft to be able to negotiate Australia’s best International Direct Dialing rates.

There are some concerns around Lebara’s customer service levels visible online. We’ve never experienced those ourselves. We have mentioned them in the review because we want to give you a balanced view. However, given the fact that Lebara are an exclusively prepaid provider, we see no risk in taking a plan from them. After all, if it doesn’t work out, you can just leave them.

What’s of more importance in our recommendation is the move Lebarra have made to offering super-fast 4G data services in late 2016. Any plan you buy from Lebara now has 4G data speeds available to it. This is a no lose. If you have an older 3G phone, you can still use it on the Lebara network. If you have a newer 4G phone, you’ll get blindingly fast data speeds. Importantly, Lebara offer a huge amount more by way of data inclusion than their mother network, Vodafone. Remember, if you buy a plan from Lebara, you’ll get access to the full Vodafone network and it’s fastest possible speeds. The simple truth, since independent research showed that Vodafone matched Telstra for 4G coverage in Australia is that buying a plan from Lebara gets you access to the best 4G network in Australia for a fraction of what you’d have to pay Telstra. That was probably news to you. Not many people know it. Which is why, for now, Lebara’s pricing is so great. And why you should buy a plan from them.

CHECK LEBARA’S RANGE

Extra Resources – Articles of use to Prepaid Users

  • Prepaid plans now have streamed audio included in them :
    You may not be aware of one of the biggest improvements to prepaid plans since they were originally devised. 2016 saw the release of prepaid plans which have streamed audio included in them. If you already have a Spotify, iTunes Music, Google Music or IHeartRadio account, then you might like to find out more about streamed audio in phone plans.
  • Entertainment options are becoming common :
    You may also have started hearing about the increasing inclusion of entertainment options in prepaid and SIM Only phone plans. We also examine Optus’ mobile phone plan Entertainment options, Telstra’s mobile phone plan Entertainment options and compare the two.
  • Prepaid vs postpaid vs month to month :
    We’ve given a short explanation on this page but if you want more detail on the types of phone plans in Australia, this is it. In Prepaid vs postpaid vs month to month, we explain and the best value alternatives you have and when it makes sense to use each type.
  • Prepaid vs Postpaid –the simple trick to getting the best value :
    The tier 1 telcos ( Optus Telstra and Vodafone ) all have both prepaid and postpaid plans. Sometimes they have both types of plan at the same price point.
  • Does it make sense to buy a Phone myself and add a SIM ? :
    It’s often even cheaper to buy your own phone and add a SIM ( including a prepaid SIM ) to it. We explain how to go Buying a phone outright and adding a SIM.
  • Data Rollovers :
    Considering a plan with data rollover in it ? We explain why they’re not the real solution to the real problem with prepaid plans.

And, remember, before you buy, read the CIS (that’s the Critical Information Summary–a clearly written definition of what is and is not included in the plans from these phone companies) before you buy. You need to be confident in the plan you choose yourself. You’ll find the CIS on the Vodafone website.

 

Compare all of our prepaid plans

If you need another network, you might like to check our Best Prepaid Plans Page and compare all the plans ( including every one mentioned on this page. ) A list of best value plans using the Telstra, Optus and Vodafone networks.

COMPARE THE BEST PREPAID PLANS